Brief
A 30-day visualization initiative that aims to promote mindfulness and self-understanding during the pandemic
Project Details
MY ROLE: Product Manager & Information Designer
TOOLKIT: Data Visualization, Website/App Development
DATA TEAM: Lesley Huang, Yanlam Ko, Victor Odouard
WEB TEAM: Justin Di, Jamal Hashim
Problem
When the pandemic hit New York in March, I found myself fighting the feeling that I was living in a tunnel. That feeling that the world we inhabit is constricted to a narrow path, where the days melt irretrievably together, and despite the passage of weeks and months, somehow, everything looks the same as the starting point. What helped me escape that tunnel was the act of recording and visualizing my personal data. With a team of 6 other creators, I decided to launch odyssee.Through odyssee, I asked individuals to record their experiences, their activities and feelings for 30 days.
Data Collection
Participants were surveyed everyday at varying frequencies for 30 days: 4 times a day, 8 times a day, or 16 times a day. A record is comprised of responses to the following 3 prompts:
1. How are you feeling?
2. In the last 10 minutes, what kind of activity were you doing?
3. I was doing this activity because…

The team developed a odyssee mobile application that sent push notifications during random moments of the day to prompt participants to record their data.
Visualization Development
For more than 3 months, the team iterated on the designs of the data visualizations. It was a three-stage approach: data insight discovery, low-fidelity design, and high-fidelity design.

Data insight discovery involved looking at the raw Excel data and uncovering patterns. If a pattern was found with particular variables, a low-fidelity design was constructed. After receiving feedback from designers, a high-fidelity design with technical specifications was developed.

In the iteration process, we faced several design challenges:
1. How might we make visualizations understandable and insightful to both the general public and the challenge participants?
2. Can a single data variable be shown through two different visual channels (i.e., size, x/y positioning)?
3. How do we balance aesthetics and ease of comprehension? How explicit do our designs have to be to ensure comprehension?